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Frontrunning

Frontrunning: December 14

  • Oil prices drop towards 11-year lows on worsening glut (Reuters)
  • Third Avenue Seen by Top Investors as Fueling More Carnage (BBG)
  • Lucidus Has Liquidated $900 Million Credit Funds, Plans to Shut (BBG)
  • Investor nerves tested with yuan, oil, Fed in play (Reuters)
  • Junk Bonds Stagger as Funds Flee (WSJ)
  • Seattle lawmakers set to vote on allowing Uber, other drivers to unionize (Reuters)
  • The Mystery of Missing Inflation Weighs on Fed Rate Move (WSJ)
  • Trump’s Rise Enabled by Decades-Long Slide for the Middle Class (BBG)
  • Returns on pharma R&D sink to lowest in five years (FT)
  • First women elected to Saudi local councils (Reuters)
  • Liquidity Cracks Grow in $400 Billion Danish Covered Bond Market (BBG)
  • South Africa Tries to Restore Credibility After Zuma U-Turn (BBG)
  • Cheniere chief to stand down after Icahn adds to stake (FT)
  • Trump, Cruz Lead GOP Field as Support for Carson Plummets, Poll Finds (WSJ)
  • Newell Rubbermaid to buy Jarden Corp for $13.22 billion (Reuters)
  • Daniel Loeb and Dow Chemical Trade Shots Over CEO Andrew Liveris (WSJ)
  • RBS CEO Sees Investment Bank Profit 4 Years Away Amid Cuts (BBG)
  • French far-right fails to win any regions in upset for Le Pen (Reuters)

 

Media Digest

WSJ

– The landmark climate agreement that more than 190 countries struck over the weekend ushers in a broad, new international effort to wind down the fossil-fuel era. (http://on.wsj.com/1UmofU2)

– Long-simmering hostility between Dow Chemical Co and Daniel Loeb reached a boiling point over the weekend, with the shareholder activist calling for the removal of Chief Executive Andrew Liveris in the wake of the company’s agreement to merge with DuPont Co. (http://on.wsj.com/1QFr4z2)

– Yahoo Inc is facing new pressure from investor groups who oppose giving Chief Executive Marissa Mayer more time to show progress on her turnaround. (http://on.wsj.com/1J5KPtq)

– Traders and regulators have fretted for more than a year that mayhem might ensue if U.S. mutual funds sought to sell rarely traded bond investments. (http://on.wsj.com/1QnuisC)

 

FT

Returns on the research and development carried out by pharma companies have dipped to their lowest levels in the least five years. The figures mirror the precarious situation that pharma companies are in, amid global consolidation and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approving the highest number of drugs in 20 years.

Charif Souki, chief executive of Cheniere Energy has resigned from his position and will be replaced by Neal Shear, a Cheniere board member. News of the resignation comes after activist investor Carl Icahn increased his stake in the company.

Twitter, in an email to users, has warned of a hack by state-sponsored actors to steal personal information such as phone numbers, email addresses and IP addresses.

The disappearance of one of China’s business tycoons has raised concerns about the reforms being carried out by China. Fosun Group said that its chairman, Guo Guangchang, is assisting authorities in an unspecified probe. However, however the company was not the subject of the probe.

 

NYT

– For the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro next year, NBCUniversal plans to team up with television tech company TiVo Inc and RealityMine, a research start-up, to track how people watch the Games on television, mobile and digital platforms. (http://nyti.ms/1J65w8z)

– Apple Inc has won an exclusive streaming deal with Taylor Swift to show a concert film from her world tour, enabling subscribers of the company’s new streaming service, Apple Music, to have access to a film directed by Jonas Akerlund that was taped two weeks ago at Swift’s show at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia. (http://nyti.ms/1QnCo4p)

– The hedge fund manager Daniel S. Loeb stepped up criticism of Dow Chemical over the weekend, calling on the chemical maker to bar its chief executive, Andrew N. Liveris, from having any role in the company after its merger with DuPont , people briefed on the matter said Sunday. (http://nyti.ms/1MccvNn)

– On Monday, the Seattle City Council plans to vote on a proposed law to give freelance, on-demand drivers for Uber and Lyft the right to collectively negotiate on pay and working conditions, a right historically reserved for regular employees. (http://nyti.ms/1SWtvwA)

– Howard University plans to sell rights to its public TV station’s spectrum, that could help bolster other parts of the financially struggling university, but it could also mean the end of WHUT, the 35-year-old public television station, that is the first owned and operated by a historically black institution. (http://nyti.ms/1mAo3BN)

 

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

** After the United Nations summit in Paris, Ottawa’s climate-change focus turns to reaching a detailed national climate strategy with the provinces by early March while also moving toward a North American agreement on energy and environmental issues. (http://bit.ly/1OqYbCr)

** Liberal Party pledges of major new infrastructure spending will start to roll out “very soon” and the federal infrastructure minister says there is no question of scaling back the C$60 billion program over deficit concerns. (http://bit.ly/1OqYoFE)

NATIONAL POST

** More than two dozen tax auditors, fraud investigators and managers at Canada Revenue Agency appear to have breached their code of ethics by contributing to a major report on political meddling and other problems plaguing Canada’s tax system, which they claim cost billions in uncollected revenues. (http://bit.ly/1lHQBg9)

** Health Canada has made just two attempts to enforce its controversial fertility law since early 2014, mildly rebuking someone who posted bus-shelter ads to hire a surrogate mother, and a company allegedly paying women to donate eggs, internal documents indicate. (http://bit.ly/1Ns1MAc)

 

Britain

The Times

Debenhams has watered down the targets its bosses need to hit to receive multimillion-pound paydays, saying the lower hurdles reflect “ongoing challenges in the UK retail sector”. (http://thetim.es/1QfkoJI)

Royal Bank of Scotland faces an investigation by UK’s regulator after dormant bank accounts were concealed from thousands of customers. The bank confirmed on Sunday that it had launched an internal inquiry after “misinforming” 4,500 customers who had asked for money locked in inactive accounts to be returned. (http://thetim.es/1Qfkyke)

The Guardian

Labour and Liberal Democrat peers are threatening to block George Osborne’s plans to water down regulatory powers designed to hold top City bankers to account for banking scandals. (http://bit.ly/1QfkEID)

The Financial Reporting Council is facing renewed pressure to open an investigation into the auditors of HBOS in the runup to its near-collapse in 2008. (http://bit.ly/1QfkK33)

The Telegraph

Leading universities, including the Imperial College London has stopped buying books from Pearson over a ebook pricing row. Imperial College has gone as far as purging all Pearson materials from their courses. (http://bit.ly/1Qfms4u)

Spanish bank Sabadell does not want to buy any more banks for at least another year, shutting down speculation that it was considering buying Clydesdale <IPO-CLBP.L> and Yorkshire Bank, or RBS spin-off Williams and Glyn. (http://bit.ly/1QfmVUd)

Sky News

Lord Rose, the former boss of Marks & Spencer, is to become chairman of Time Out Markets, a subsidiary of the company which owns the international listings magazine. (http://bit.ly/1QfnehL)

Man Group, which sponsors English fiction’s most prestigious prize is close to naming Lord Livingston, the former trade minister and BT Group chief executive, as its next chairman. (http://bit.ly/1lYRZKI)

The Independent

The powerful Treasury Select Committee of MPs has demanded that accountancy watchdogs “immediately” revisit their decision to take no action on KPMG’s audit of failed bank HBOS. (http://ind.pn/1QfnEEY)

RBS’s famously accident-prone computer systems have claimed thousands more victims as the taxpayer-controlled bank was found to have blocked customers trying to retrieve their own cash from old bank accounts. (http://ind.pn/1QfnL3w)

 

 

 

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